Essay about Religion, Politics and Gender Ideology

1022 Words5 Pages
When someone mentions “witch hunts”, we tend to think about the witchcraft trials that took place during the 14th-16th centuries in Europe or even the Salem Witch trials that accorded during the beginnings of America. Fueled by mass hysteria and fear, the results of these trials ended in burnings or lynching of those believed to be associated with witchcraft. At the heart of these trials we find the influence of society (i.e., widespread fear) and politics which in this case involved the legal courts. Witch hunts were sustained for so long because they were effective in limiting social deviancy, any variation of the norm would land you with the stigma of practicing witchcraft. Since the witch hunts ended with the deaths of so many…show more content…
These descriptions are incorporated into the laws that govern the populace and provide either privileges or limitations. This should reiterate the idea that gender is a social construct with the ability to be changed both in terms of attitudes towards it and policies that control it. An example from American society would be in the way that homosexuality is treated. The mere fact that homosexual marriage is allowed in only a few states highlights the privilege heterosexuals have and the restrictions placed on those who don’t behave in the same way as the majority. Marriage is a social factor that has become an important part of creating and legitimizing the next generation; however, it is this idea of the next generation that problems many of the social problems arise. As Heléna Ragoné’s essay “Surrogate Motherhood: Rethinking Biological Models, Kinship, and Family” points out, there is the tendency to think of gender as motherhood as the biological birth of a child. Homosexual couples complicate this model and to fix the disparity by implementing laws that makes their marriage illegal. Western society also attempts to force people into deciding on a gender. This drives the gender dichotomy we have in place and eliminates the prospects of incorporating those who don’t neatly correspond with either category. With this model in mind, Western scholars have viewed other cultures gender and sexual activities (and even some of the
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